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The Situation Room

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news. New.

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03:00:00

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Us 37, U.s. 26, Washington 22, Iran 15, Detroit 14, Obama 11, Joe 10, Chris Christie 8, United States 8, Israel 7, Francis 7, Paul 7, Ronald Reagan 6, Marco Rubio 6, Dianne Feinstein 6, Michigan 6, Cnn 6, Tsa 6, America 6, Benghazi 6,
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  CNN    The Situation Room    News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting  
   and online resources update international news. New.  

    March 14, 2013
    1:00 - 4:00pm PDT  

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one, nine, three, eight, five, two, one, one, zero, five, five, five, nine, six, four -- >> and o that note that's it for me. no memorizing pi for me but i will tell you it is great being with you. back on the morning at 7:00 a.m. here's wolf in "the situation room." >> thanks very much. happening now president obama says it could take iran just a year to develop a nuclear weapon. he calls that a red line for the united states and is warning that all options right now are on the table. the new pope gets down to work with a prayer and a simple sermon. and he shows a down-to-earth style by stopping to pick up his own luggage and is actually paying his own hotel bill. from dream voyage to another cruise ship nightmare, stuck in a caribbean port passengers report power failures and toilet failures. can carnival get it right this
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time? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in the situation room. let's begin with another record day on wall street. the dow rising. take a look at this. at least another 80 points to another new high, the tenth straight up day tying a winning streak set in 1996. let's go live to cnn's alison kosik over at the new york stock exchange. it keeps on going higher and higher and higher, another big dy. >> it was another big day. some decent news, wolf, on the jobs front helped push the dow to another record-setting day. we found out the first time claims for unemployment benefits fell 10,000 to 332,000. what that really shows is that the jobs market is slowly improving, but you know it really wasn't a stunner of a
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report. yet the market, curiously, continues to move higher so everybody wants to know when are the bulls going to peter out? and the fact is there really aren't many traders in the game right now so the low volume could put the gains in jeopardy in the long term as could any random piece of negative news. and overall if you see a pull back happen, many analysts expect it would be anywhere from 10 to 15%. but that would bring the dow down to 13,000. we can put that aside for now because the trend is higher. sheer momentum really is the driver. now we're actually on s&p 500 record watch. the dow has already hit its record now. it's the s&p 500's turn which would be an even bigger deal to wall street not only because your 401(k), portfolio probably tracks that index, but because if it hits and blows through the all-time record of 1565 it's just two points away at this point. some believe that could give even more momentum to the whole market to move even higher or others say it could be the moment we could see stocks begin to pull back. wolf? >> ten days in a row though.
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that is still pretty good. alison, thanks very much. >> days before his first visit to israel president obama is warning iran could be very close to a nuclear weapon and the united states is prepared o do something about it. he granted an interview to israel's channel 2. >> it would take over a year or so for iran to actually develop a nuclear weapon. but obviously we don't want to cut it too close. what we're going to be doing is continuing to engage internationally with iran, understanding that we've set up the toughest sanctions ever. it's having a significant effect. >> on the economy? >> there is the president of the united states saying it could take a year for iran to develop a nuclear weapon. let's discuss what is going on. that's the first time i heard the president give such a
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specific timeline, within a year or so iran could have a nuclear weapon. that sounds pretty ominous. >> it does sound ominous. what it shows you is what a difficult diplomatic challenge the president has. because they're negotiating with iran through the six-party talks which are taking place in kazakhstan and there the united states has made some offers that are, you know, trying to help iran move to a kind of win-win place. now he is managing the other dimension of this which is israel. he is trying to convince the israelis that he is serious, that he sees that there is not an infinite amount of time, and he said later in the interview all options are on the table. when i say all options i mean military force and we have substantial capabilities. so he's trying to manage the iranian clock as well as the israeli clock. >> so he wants to make sure, for example, when he heads off to israel next week, he reassures the israelis that he's all over this issue and that they should not necessarily think about
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unilateral israeli military action. >> precisely. the administration's view to israel has been all along don't do it, guys. you don't have the capabilities. you will destroy the international coalition we have brought together. you will perhaps retard iran's development by a year or so. if it needs to be done the united states has the capability. what he is trying to convince them there is we will use it. i recognize that this, you know, this can't go on forever. i think that's why he talked about the year to give them some sense of specificity with which he understands this is a window, not an unending process. >> let me talk about afghanistan with you for a moment, fareed, because the commander of u.s. and international forces in afghanistan issued an alert in effect today to all u.s. and coalition troops to raise their level of readiness if you will because of recent comments made by the afghan president hamid karzai among other things general dunnford said his
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remarks could be a catalyst for some to lash out against our forces. he may also issue orders that put our forces at risk. this is a major, serious escalation of the problem over there. if the u.s. commander, and there are still 66,000 u.s. troops in afghanistan, is now worried that hamid karzai's remarks could endanger those u.s. and other international forces, the question is, what's going on? >> what's going on is hamid karzai is trying to garner cheap popularity by equating the united states with the taliban, which he did in some senses. i think we should stand up to it very formally. i think we should have had a stronger rebuke of him. and i think we should make clear that this kind of behavior will result -- will have a significant impact. the problem is karzai is on the way out. so we should also not over react and recognize he does not speak for afghanistan. there are other afghans. there is a, you know, complicated game going on here with domestic politics.
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but i do wish that senator hagel -- secretary of defense hagel had been tougher in rebuking karzai on that issue. >> karzai wouldn't even hold that traditional joint news conference with the new defense secretary. that was a real slap in my opinion of what's going on and the question is, should the u.s., and if you give me a quick answer, should the u.s. accelerate the withdrawal of those 66,000 troops? they're all supposed to be out by the end of 2014. the pressure is mounting to get them out even more quickly. >> no. we want afghanistan to be stable not just for the afghans but for our own reasons. we don't want the taliban controlled state. we don't want an al qaeda controlled state. >> fareed zakaria, thanks very much. fareed's program sunday morning 10:00 a.m. eastern also 1:00 p.m. eastern only here on cnn. special guest this sunday paul wolf witnessowitz the former de secretary, one of the architects of the war in iraq. we are approaching the tenth
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anniversary of the start of that war that removed saddam hussein from power. we are receiving word right now a suspect is held in libya suspected of involvement in the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi. that attack last september killed four americans including the u.s. ambassador. our national correspondent susan candiotti is joining us now with the latest details. what are we learning, susan? >> hi, wolf. authorities have detained a suspect in connection with the september 11 attack on that u.s. diplomatic compound in benghazi. two sources are telling me, both sources identifying him as al shibly. one source says he was just detained within the past couple days and recently returned from a trip to pakistan according to a source. now, it is unclear whether he will be charged in connection with the case, which resulted in the deaths of four americans, including ambassador chris stevens.
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the 46-year-old al shibly comes from a town about 50 miles from benghazi. he was a member of a militant organization called the libyan islamist fighting group, trying to overthrow the gadhafi regime in the mid '90s. in 1998 he was named with two other libyans for his alleged involvement in the murder after german counterintelligence official and his wife who were killed in 1994. and by the way, an arrest warrant for osama bin laden was also issued at that same time by libyan authorities. now in 2004 the libyan government reported that al chabili was reported to the united nations as one of the most wanted and issued an order seeking his arrest. the fbi is not commenting on our report. >> let's see what happens next. at some point i'm sure they will be commenting. susan, thanks very much. lots more news coming up here in the situation room including in detroit it is deeply in debt, billions in the red.
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now michigan's governor taking direct action. i'll speak live with the governor. and pope francis in his first full day on the job celebrates his first mass. # [ man ] i got this citi thankyou card and started earning loads of points. we'll leave that there. you got a weather balloon, with points? yes i did. [ man ] points i could use for just about anything. go. ♪ keep on going in this direction. take this bridge over here. there it is! [ man ] so i used mine to get a whole new perspective. [ laughter ] [ male announcer ] earn points with the citi thankyou card and redeem them for just about anything. visit citi.com/thankyoucards to apply.
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. michigan's governor makes a major move in a push to get detroit out of a huge financial mess and names his pick to lead the city during potentially issues that could result in bankruptcy or not. they are both standing by live. we'll discuss. i love making money. i try to be smart with my investments. i also try to keep my costs down. what's your plan? ishares. low cost and tax efficient. find out why nine out of ten large professional investors choose ishares for their etfs. ishares by blackrock.
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michigan's governor is not waiting any longer for a plan from the city government in a very dramatic move today he named the washington attorney
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kevin orosz to take over the city as emergency manager. the republican governor rick schneider is joining us with kevyn orr. thanks very much for joining us. >> great to be with you. >> thanks for inviting us. >> mr. orr, let me start with you. what are you going to do? you have about 18 months to try to get detroit's finances in order. >> wolf, the first thing is make an assessment if i can of enhancing city services to the citizens of detroit. i'm going to sit down with consultants and restructuring team that the governor has in place to try to prioritize what we need to do next based upon the data. >> are you in effect mr. orr the mayor of detroit right now? because they have a mayor dave bing who was on the show about a month or so ago. are you in effect his boss? >> no. the mayor is elected and i am
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appointed as a creature of state statute. i have certain powers under state law that allow me to transcend some of the duties typically held by a chief executive but the mayor is still the mayor. i think of myself as exactly what the statute says i am, an emergency financial manager. >> if i may emphasize it was great the mayor was a participant today in the news conference. >> yes. >> we wanted him to be a strong partner in this effort and it was great to have mayor bing with us today. >> how likely is it, governor, and i'll let mr. orr respond, how likely is it this could be a huge bankruptcy in the works right now for detroit unless you guys come up with a specific plan that is going to be very bitter for a lot of folks there. >> again the goal isn't to go into bankruptcy. the goal is to solve the problem. that is the focus kevyn is going to have and one reason i was excited to get him onboard. he is one of the best restructuring bankruptcy people in the country and to make people know this is serious but the goal is to work together as a team, go to creditors, work
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through this in a constructive, positive process as opposed to just running to bankruptcy. >> do you expect to throw out or remove some of the long standing contracts with public employees unions and others in order to get the job done? >> i don't necessarily expect to remove or throw them out. i think we'll take a deliberative and rational view and see what needs to be done make them reflect the realities on the ground today. i mean, the maintenance of the status quo and tte is not an option. we are looking a at what to do to go forward and create a sustainable future for one of the greatest sncities in the country. i am not particularly focused on one particular group. what i hope to be is reasoned and deliberate. >> you walked chrysler through its bankruptcy problems, what, back in 2009. chrysler has now come back. general motor similarly gone
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through bankruptcy coming back. how would you compare what you're about to do with detroit to what you did with chrysler? >> you know, i and my colleagues at jones day and the other financial professionals involved were very fortunate to have had the opportunity to take chrysler through its bankruptcy and your direct question was how does it compare? chrysler was a situation where we had financing and we were trying to restructure a private business under chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code. they're making great profits, having year over year increase in sales. the chairman of the company has done a tremendous job bringing that company forward. the municipal issue is a little different. you have to provide services to the citizens, the customers of the municipality, citizens of the city. so it is a different
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environment, different priorities while similar in terms of what needs to be done from the mathematical aspects of a restructuring is a little different in terms of the services you need to provide the citizens. >> one final question, governor. one of detroit's big problems is the population has decreased by more than half over the past 20 years or so, maybe even two-thirds. what do you do to bring people back to detroit? >> the good things that go on that doesn't get recognized because people dwell on the negative is a lot of good things are going on in detroit. people are moving into the center of the city. midtown, downtown 95% occupancy. young people want to move to detroit. a lot of this is resolving the city services question with public safety with lighting and as we resolve these i think there is a great environment to say detroit is the value place to be. there is a lot of up side. by resolving city issues we'll create a platform because the solution in the long term is let's grow detroit and a growing
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detroit will continue to help the comeback of michigan. we're the comeback state. let's get detroit onboard and go. >> if you can get the financial situation stabilized people will come back to detroit and there is a lot to offer in that city. >> yes. >> thanks very much for coming in. >> thank you very much, wolf. >> more than 2,000 undocumented immigrants released from custody, up next why officials say it had to happen. awwwww... arigato! we are outta here! party...... finding you the perfect place, every step of the way. hotels.com
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after initially saying a few hundred illegal immigrants were released now a federal official is saying it's a lot, lot more. lisa sylvester is monitoring that. some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. so what's the number? what's the latest? >> okay, wolf. the director of immigrations and customs enforcement now tells a house commite today that more than 2,000 illegal immigrants have been released from detention facilities. he says it was because his budget was sliced by $300 million in the recent forced spending cuts and says the agency chose to release individuals who do to the pose a, quote, significant threat to public safety as opposed to furloughing officers. and china officially has a new leader. the country's port charlotte
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voted xi jinping president. his real power comes from being chairman of the central military chairman appointed back in december. he pledges to crack down on corruption. today president obama called to congratulate him. in what could be a major change in the syrian civil war france's foreign minister says the european union must lift an embargo and start arming the rebels. british prime minister david cameron is also saying his country could break from the embargo that is set to expire in may. according to opposition activists 22 people were killed across syria today. take a look here. this is a video that is trending online after singer billy joel made a college student's dream come true. >> my favorite song is "a new york state of mind" an was wondering if i could play with you. i would accompany you, that is.
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>> okay. ♪ some folks like to get away take a holiday from the neighborhood ♪ >> how cool is that? the student says this was probably the greatest moment of his life so far. you know what? this just goes to show you, ask and you shall receive. you know what? he got his wish. i think that's just fantastic. >> billy joel is amazing. i remember a couple years ago they performed in washington nationals park here. billy joel and elton john together. it was quite, quite a concert. thousands of people were there including me. i thoroughly enjoyed them. can we hear a little more of billy joel? >> roll the tape. >> can we get a little more? >> i think they're going to rerack it just for you because you asked. >> all right.
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we're waiting. there we go. >> okay. ♪ some folks like to get away take a holiday from the neighborhood ♪ ♪ hop a flight to miami beach or hollywood ♪ ♪ i'll take the greyhound on the hudson river line ♪ >> taking a break. much more news right after this. it's lots of things. all waking up. connecting to the global phenomenon we call the internet of everything. ♪ it's going to be amazing. and exciting. and maybe, most remarkably, not that far away. we're going to wake the world up. and watch, with eyes wide, as it gets to work.
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life opens up when you do. pope francis today got down to work by leading prayers, offering words of wisdom. he's already carving out an image of a humble man who was devoted to his pastoral duties. cnn's senior international correspondent jim bittermann is joining us now from rome. jim, tell us how pope francis spent his first full day as the new pope. >> well, it was a bit of cleaning up of loose ends from the conclave, wolf. the fact is he went by his hotel and checked out. he came as a cardinal after all. he will stay here as a pope. he went by and paid his hotel bill and got his bags and checked out and then went to sort of the symbolic end of the conclave, went to mass with the
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cardinals who elected him and at the mass spoke briefly about what his plans are and said the church has to move forward and it has to be built on a firm foundation. now, it's not clear exactly what he meant by that but there are probably a lot of people in this town who would like it to mean that would foundation would include firmly and finally dealing with the various scandals that have afflicted the church over the last few years. then attacking the problem that he also indicated he wanted to, he is a jesuit after all, and that is the vanlg looevangeliza the church. the jesuits are known for evangelizing basically to get more people back into church and more priests into the priesthood especially in western europe where they've been on decline, wolf. >> he has a major challenge ahead of him. we wish him obviously only the best. jim bittermann in rome for us, thank you. as you might suspect the pope graces the cover of the new issue of "time" magazine. let's discuss that new issuesta
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corporate sibling. an excellent article. i read the cover story. rick, what are the biggest challenges pope francis will now face? >> wolf, one of the interesting things about francis is that he is both an insider and an outsider. he is the first new world pope, the first pope from latin america. however, he is an italian by heritage so he has a foot in both camps. he understands latin america but he also understands where the power of the vatican lies. his challenge is reconciling outside and inside, repairing some of the breaches within the church. it's dealing with the sex abuse scandal which is more in the west. but one of the issues actually that hasn't come up is that he is from latin america whereabout 40% of the world's catholics are, but actually the growth of the church in latin america has started to decline, and evangelical christianity is making inroads with the church in latin america. that will be one of his challenges, too. >> tell us about the election of
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the pope and why it captures so much of the imagination of the entire world that not just catholics obviously but so many people were interested, were watching, and their hopes are not high, that perhaps pope francis can really do something. when you think about it, wolf, the catholic church as an institution has been around longer than any secular power that is on the planet. i mean, it's been hundreds and thousands of years and not to mention the pomp and ceremony. so i think people see it as a ritual that is all about continuation and about certain values that have existed for a long time and that are under threat today. >> it's the new issue of "time" magazine. let's show the cover one more time. there it is. new world pope. the celebration of pope francis who just became the new pope yesterday. rick stangl as usual thanks for coming in. >> good to be here.
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up next, grief and fury on the streets of brooklyn after police kill a 16-year-old. we're taking a close look at the controversy. another meeting? yup, i brought my a-team. business trips add up to family time. this is my family. this is joe. hi joe! hi there! earn a ton of extra points with the double your hhonors promotion and feel the hamptonality. so if ydead battery,t tire, need a tow or lock your keys in the car, geico's emergency roadside assistance is there 24/7. oh dear, i got a flat tire. hmmm. uh... yeah, can you find a take where it's a bit more dramatic on that last line, yeah? yeah i got it right here. someone help me!!! i have a flat tire!!! well it's good... good for me. what do you think?
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sadness is mixing with anger on the streets of brooklyn right now. days after a 16-year-old was shot and killed by new york police. protesters filled the streets at a chaotic and confrontational scene with officers. it was supposed to be a peaceful vigil, but it quickly turned. mary snow is in brooklyn joining us now live. what is the mood, mary? what's going on? >> reporter: it is tense. community leaders are now accusing outsiders of coming in and making things worse.
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many here in this community are questioning the police account of what happened here on saturday night. it's tapping into a simmering anger among many here about the way they say they're treated by police. by day, a calm scene at this makeshift memorial marking the spot where 16-year-old kamani gray was shot and killed by police saturday night. by night, this scene turns violent. wednesday, protesters lashed out at police. the nypd says 46 people were arrested and one officer was injured. it was the second night things turned ugly. on monday, teens vandalized two local stores. community leaders blame outsiders for inciting violence. >> there are people well intentioned as they may be that are coming into the community and capitalizing on a terrible situation and making it worse. >> reporter: there are calls in this community for an independent investigation into
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gray's death. the nypd says the teen who they believe was a gang member pointed a gun at two plain clothes officers. they fired and he was killed. the medical examiner determined he was shot seven times, including two shots to the back of his body. it's unclear the order of the shots. police provided a photo of a gun they retrieved at the scene. gray's father attended a news conference and spoke briefly. >> what you want for this? >> i just want the truth. >> reporter: many in this community of west indian immigrants are distrustful of police and leaders say they feel ignored and one religious leader says the shooting taps into anger of young kids who feel police are too aggressive. >> i appreciate the job the police are doing. but, you know, take care of us. and i'm saying to the community. take care of the police. >> as a parent i can tell you the thought of losing a child is every parent's worst nightmare, and so our hearts all have to go
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out to the family of this young man. so far all indications are that the young man had a gun and i can promise you we will conduct a full and fair investigation. >> reporter: wolf, to try and ease some of the tensions here, some leaders in this neighborhood are asking both members of the community and the police to stop commenting on this investigation until they know exactly what happened here saturday night. wolf? >> really tense situation right now in brooklyn. mary is all over the story for us. thank you, mary. it is a case that is garnering national attention and putting a small ohio town in a very negative spotlight. it started with a night of partying last summer and the alleged sexual assault of an intoxicated teenage girl. then pictures like this one, videos popped up on social media. today is the day two of the trial for two high school football players and testimony
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focused in on cell phone records. more witnesses are expected this afternoon and through the evening. defense attorneys argue that tweets and posts on social media are making witnesses change their views on what happened that night. we'll continue to follow it this story for you as well. up next, power failures and toilet failures. a dream voyage turns into a nightmare for some as another cruise ship runs into serious trouble. conservative. very logical thinker. (laughs) i'm telling you right now, the girl back at home
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another carnival cruise ship in trouble. what are they doing about it? our own brian todd ness miami at carnival's headquarters digging for answers. brian's report is next.
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just a month after the epic failure of a carnival cruise ship another voyage turns into a nightmare. the dream is stuck in port at the caribbean island of st. martin. passengers are telling of power failures and toilet failures. carnival is working to fly all of them back to florida. brian todd is over at company headquarters in miami with more. what are you learning? >> reporter: wolf, some conflicting accounts between what's being told to us by passengers and what is told to us by carnival. on a couple specific things regarding passengers' discomfort on that vessel. what we can tell you is that since some of their initial complaints they were not let off the ship while these maintenance issues were being addressed this he have since been allowed to disembark the carnival dream at st. martin. the ship stopped on a routine scheduled stop. that is when they had a maintenance issue. an emergency generator
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malfunctioned. they thought they could fix it quickly so they kept passengers on the ship into the evening last night and into the overnight hours. they soon figured out that they could not fix it quickly but in the meantime passengers were kept onboard and there are varying accounts of what happened. several passengers said toilets were overflowing throughout the vessel. of course this harkens back to the carnival triumph incident last month where there was sewage flowing all over the ship. we were getting similar accounts from passengers on this vessel. now, carnival says that only one public restroom experienced a periodic out anage while they w maintaining it and getting it back online for a short period and only one cabin bathroom they had a request to clean only one cabin bathroom. that is a little different from what we're hearing from other passengers, from passengers that say these toilet outages were a little more widespread. also, carnival says that all the toilets were functioning by 12:30 a.m. eastern time just after midnight but passenger
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chris anderson who also happens to be an anchor at wrge tv in memphis, a cnn affiliate, was on the vessel and here is what he said about the timetable for when the toilets got back up. >> the toilets were off for quite sometime. and i think the problem that people might be having with the toilets backing up is it is a similar situation at home if your toilet gets clogged, you flush it repeatedly, the water will keep coming up and coming up whereas if you just flush it once, see it's not working, close the lid and forget about it you're not going to be in trouble. but they were out of service for quite some time, for several hours. ours started working about 8:00 this morning. >> reporter: so he says they were working at 8:00 this morning. carnival says the toilets were working several hours before that. i ran his account by a carnival official and the official said they'd look into those reports and are trying to address the maintenance issues. in the meantime carnival dream passengers are still most of them still in st. martin. carnival is arranging charter
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flights to fly them to orlando. those flights -- there is no timetable on when they'll get out of there. probably overnight tonight into tomorrow morning, wolf. so again, a big inconvenience for carnival passengers. this ship was near the end of its, about a week-long voyage into the caribbean. so most of the trip was done anyway. but still, a real inconvenience for those passengers. >> what are they offering carnival? what are they offering the passengers as compensation? >> well, we got a copy of a letter by a passenger who didn't want to be named. this was a letter from the captain to the passengers. in that letter he said that they would offer them a three-day discount on their fare plus an offer to return on another carnival cruise ship of two to seven-day duration for 50% off. that is the offer they're getting initially. as you'll recall, passengers aboard the carnival triumph last month were offered packages like discounts and free cruises but some of them elected not to take that deal and some of them are of course engaged in a class
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action lawsuit against carnival. >> i know you'll have more later. thanks very much. meanwhile passengers, pilots, and flight attendants are all lining up against them. now congress is asking really serious questions of the man who ordered knives to be allowed back on u.s. airliners who is defending his decision. let's bring in our crime and justice correspondent joe johns. these are small knives that he is suggesting now be allowed but it has caused a huge, huge amount of criticism. >> it certainly has. the head of the transportation security administration john pistol was sticking to his message today on capitol hill. he has taken harsh criticism for his decision on march 5th allowing small knives on planes while the limit on liquids you can carry on a plane remains in effect. pistole was on the hill restating his position. we already know that bombs are a bigger threat than small knives. >> the small pocket knife is
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simply not going to result in the catastrophic failure of an aircraft. an improvised explosive device will. we know from internal testing searching for these items which will not blow up an aircraft can distract our security officers from focusing on the components of an i.e.d. >> reporter: to underscore the idea pistole essentially saying his people need to refocus on the threats that could blow up a plane. he even played an old fbi video that we have seen before of the detonation of a chemical explosive called petn which underscores what tsa says the real dangers are but pistole hasn't been able to tamp down the uproar. sheila jackson lee wants tsa to rethink this. >> you need to stop this now. these cause bleeding. these cause injuries. these can cause a terrible tragedy and i don't want to take it to the next length. it can possibly cause someone to lose their life.
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>> the fact is there are so many objects already on flights that can cause the type of harm you're talking about. >> three airlines, the flight attendants' association and a bunch of members of congress do not think the rule is necessarily a good idea. pistole defended it saying the new rule makes sense focusing on where the threat is, the catastrophe of 9/11 now more than a decade ago still fresh in the public's memory, wolf, and so is the threat of men using sharp objects to overpower the passengers and crew of planes. >> i know the debate is only just beginning and there will be a lot more. thanks very much for that report. meanwhile, a testy exchange between two u.s. senators leads one to say, and i'm quoting now, i'm not a sixth grader. in our next hour what led the veteran senator dianne feinstein to give a freshman colleague ted cruz such a stern rebuke. are a bit under sized moss then this will be a nice surprise.
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...and we inspected his brakes for free. -free is good. -free is very good. [ male announcer ] now get 50% off brake pads and shoes at meineke. on the final day of president obama's charm offensive as it's called up on capitol hill he met with senate republicans and house democrats today while the major issue was the looming budget showdown. it's not the only issue the white house and lawmakers are disagreeing on. earlier, my colleague kaand i spoke with eric cantor. >> i want to ask you about the skills act. it essentially works to revamp the federal jobs training program. the administration just yesterday put out a statement about the act saying it makes some positive steps but also says the bill would eliminate or allow the consolidation of many
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targeted programs without providing the critical assistance needed by vulnerable populations such as veterans, low income adults, youth, adults with literacy and english language needs, people with disabilities, ex-offenders, and others with significant barriers to employment. so with such huge issues before the congress as we've been talking about in this conversation if you can't agree on revamping the federal jobs program what can you agree on with the white house? >> listen. this is why we hope that that is just an initial statement by the white house. this is a general accounting office recommendation. we've got 50 worker training programs at the federal level, 50. what this bill does is it tries to take 35 of them, deconflict them, and make it so that there is a one stop shop for everybody who is unemployed, seeking a new job but they need skills in order to get there. we protect the veteran population. we specifically spell out the vulnerable populations that you
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just mentioned to make sure that the state worker training boards address the needs of those. but what's happened thus far is it's been a micro management situation in washington with 50 different programs where you have the unemployed having a lot of difficulty understanding how to navigate that maze. the vision here is to set up a one-stop shop in all the regions in each state around the country, allow unemployed workers to come in and say, i'm desirous of going back to work. the state knows in its area of the country where the available jobs are and believe me i was told today in northern virginia alone there are 600,000 unfilled positions by the year 2020. that means skilled work force is an issue. we want to make sure the unemployed workers have these skills to get the jobs. the skills act is the way to do it. >> you can see our full interview with the house majority leader eric cantor. that comes up 6:00 p.m. eastern
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right here in the situation room. we go through all of the major issues facing congress and the white house right now. you're in the situation room. happening now lawmakers trade bruising punches over the controversial push to ban assault style weapons. i'll speak exclusively with the senator right in the middle of the battle. paul begala gets booed at a prominent conservative conference under way right now in washington and will join us live this hour. and "vogue" takes us inside the obama marriage. we have the scoop. we welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
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i'm not a sixth grader. senator, i've been on this committee for 20 years. i was a mayor for nine years. i walked in. i saw people shot. i've studied the constitution myself. i am reasonably well educated. i thank you for the lecture. >> all right. so there you have it. the gun debate here in washington gets emotional and gets very personal on this day. democrats on the senate judiciary committee winning a bruising victory today in their battle to ban military style assault weapons. but is the president putting everything he has behind this effort? jim acosta is over at the white house with new information. >> reporter: gun control advocates did score a major win today in efforts for a new ban on assault style weapons but the real question at the white house is whether the president will put a big push behind that bill to get it over the finish line.
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>> efforts to pass new gun control measures cleared a major hurdle when the senate judiciary committee voted along party lines to approve a new ban on assault style weapons. >> the bill will be reported to the floor. >> reporter: but not until after some major fireworks. >> it seems to me that all of us should begin as our foundational document with the constitution. >> i'm not a sixth grader. senator, i've been on this committee for 20 years. in sandy hook, youngsters were dismembered. >> that may explain why the ban's chief backer senator dianne feinstein is calling for backup. noting the big push former president bill clinton gave a similar ban nearly 20 years ago. feinstein told "the hill" newspaper earlier this week i would certainly welcome taking a leaf out of clinton's book and really engaging. i think it makes a difference. he's got a bully pulpit that none of us vnchts they had their entire lives ahead of them -- birthdays, graduations,
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weddings. >> reporter: despite president obama's emotional response to sandy hook where an ar-15 was used to commit mass murder -- >> it was a great conversation. >> reporter: and his charm offensive on capitol hill that's in part on gun control, democrats doubt they have the 60 votes needed to break an expected gop filibuster on an assault style weapon ban. >> it is clear that the assault weapons ban has become -- the other party has become locked in against that. i don't see us getting 60 votes. >> white house press secretary jay carney stressed the president still supports such a ban but declined to say how far mr. obama is willing to go. >> the president understands these are tough issues. if they weren't they would have been done. >> reporter: that may leave it up to gun control advocates from newtown like those who ride bicycles to washington this week to keep the pressure on congress. >> we hope that all of our nation's elected representatives will step forward with the moral courage and commitment needed to tackle the grave issue of gun violence that confronts us.
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>> reporter: now the president did release a statement in response to the senate judiciary committee's passage of that bill that would reinstate the assault weapons style ban and it goes in part, these weapons of war when combined with high capacity magazines have one purpose to inflict maximum damage as quickly as possible. the president says. they are designed for the battle field and have no place on our streets, in our schools, or threatening our law enforcement officers. but wolf, that may not be the full throated endorsement of that legislation that senator feinstein and other supporters of the legislation would like to see. that is in part because of the conventional wisdom here in washington and up on capitol hill that really it's the universal background checks that have the best chance of getting passed. >> so there is no doubt that even if all of this were to pass the full senate, once it goes to the house of representatives, where the republicans are the majority a lot of this would be dead, right? >> reporter: that's right. it may not even get called up over in the house because it is controlled by republicans and so
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at this point perhaps both sides are bowing to some political reality on this issue, wolf. >> political reality, very important. thanks very much, jim. just ahead, later this hour, senator feinstein will be my guest right here in the situation room. we'll go over that exchange she had with senator ted cruz. three days, four visits with republicans and democrats in both houses of congress. president obama wrapping up that so-called charm offensive on capitol hill just a little while ago. so what if anything did he accomplish? our chief congressional correspondent dana bash is up on capitol hill with more. first of all, who exactly did the president meet with on this day? >> reporter: he met with senate republicans, wolf, and house democrats. let's start with senate republicans obviously potentially the more interesting of those conversations. lots of surprisingly positive feedback from senate republicans. i don't think i'm polyanna about this. i think it was genuine for most of the republican senators. even conservatives like ted cruz said he found common ground on
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an issue of corporate taxes. he obviously doesn't have a political reason to say that about the president. the takeaway from senators is the reason why they felt so positive is first of all just because they said they felt they got a chance to talk, that the president listened, he let about a dozen republican senators ask questions and the two general themes of the questions i'm told are, one, entitlements, the fact that they want the president to really work hard on convincing democrats, convincing democrats to come their way or at least to come toward a little bit of compromise. and in order to do that, i was told by several republican senators that they told him, please try to give your fellow democrats cover. how? by going to the american people. by using the bully pulpit. using the megaphone he has. in fact, that is one of the questions i'm told by rob portman, a senator from ohio, that he asked the president. here was what he said the president's answer was. >> well, i asked the president if he was willing to not just get engaged by talking to us but talking to the american people.
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>> he said yes essentially. he understands that is part of the challenge. the concern i continue to have is the fact that the president's not providing the kind of political cover to democrats to really engage in a serious discussion on how do you get the entitlement reforms in place to save those programs. >> reporter: now, wolf, he went across the capitol from there to have that serious discussion with house democrats and he had the problem really effectively smack him right in the face because we are told he heard from many house democrats that they are very concerned that the white house is going to go too far in compromising on entitlements especially medicare and other issues surrounding those programs that most democrats hold so dear and are very reluctant to change even in the name of deficit reduction u. >> you were up on the hill, dana, all week. did the president's outreach to the republicans and democrats but specifically to the republicans make a difference? >> reporter: in a word, yes. did it break new ground in terms of coming together on these big
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policy differences that divide them? no. but the -- what i've heard from democrats and republicans, mostly republicans, is that the idea that they could be heard, that they could have conversations with the president and that they could hear directly from them, their policy positions, not from their staff, not from sound bites on television or quotes in the newspaper, is something that is invaluable and that is something that they hope will form a basis going forward because it's something they haven't had before. although i will caution one house republican put it this way. if we are thinking that this is going to be the beginning of a great relationship, it's kind of like thinking if you get in a fight with your wife, you send her flowers, that is going to be the end of the fight. not going to happen. >> all right. good point. thanks, dana. thanks very much. let's dig a little deeper right now with our chief political analyst gloria borger, chief political correspondent candy crowley. >> we were laughing at that. >> are we any closer to a deal? >> i don't think we are. i think everyone's listening,
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which i think is a step forward. but i think the president's problem when you come right down to it, and dana alluded to this, is his own party. i mean, he met with democrats who don't want to move on entitlements and the decision the president has to make in terms of his legacy and whether or not he feels like he can get a grand bargain, is how much is he willing to take on his own base? because those are the people who got him re-elected and is he willing to take on his own base so he can get over this fiscal speed bump and on to the legacy items that he really wants to pursue? >> because we've spent so much time talking about tax hikes that what's been hidden in all of this is that entitlement reform is a huge problem for the president as gloria said as dana alluded to and the question is how do you define cuts? and so what the white house wrestles with now is can you get any more out of providers? which is a lot safer than
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raising the eligibility age, so can you take more out of hospitals? can you take more out of doctors' pay? i mean, there is a way to finesse this, but there is real concern that you can't finesse it enough in -- i mean, there is only so much you can take from doctors before they say hey i'm done with medicare. >> i spoke with the senate democrat this week who said to me exactly that. you're going to have to take a look at beneficiaries of medicare and not just the hospitals and the doctors, which is the way the democrats would -- >> nancy pelosi has said, absolutely. she said, look. you know, i can't remember exactly what she called it. she said it is a joke to raise the age of medicare. that doesn't solve anything. he has letters from progressives, so he is, you know, that's already started. and only will continue to rise in terms of headlines. >> could have serious problems with the democratic base as well if he goes too far. candy, the political -- the conservative political action conference now under way, they're hearing from some rising stars in the republican party
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including marco rubio, rand paul. listen to this. >> just because we believe that life, all life, all human life is worthy of protection at every stage of development does not make you a chauvinist. >> i will stand for our prosperity and our freedom, and i ask everyone who values liberty to stand with me. >> they are two rising stars, these two senators. >> they are. i thought the contrast in the speeches was amazing. you have one of these rising stars way, way much further down the road to wanting to run for president. all rand paul's speech lacked was, and i'd like to say i am a candidate for president of the united states. he started out -- he didn't but he started out saying i have a message for the president. well, you've got every conservative listening there because they really feel the message has not been carried by some of the folks up on capitol hill particularly the leadership. so his was very much 2016
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speech. and obviously, marco rubio, a lot more conservatives. more about we like the middle class. it was just an extension of his response speech to state of the union. >> the whole question i have about cpac is i recall the ronald reagan big tent republican party. that was when republicans were winning presidential elections. this is like the tp. it's not the big ten. you have disinvited chris christie, bob macdonald, governor of virginia, popular in the state of virginia not invited. donald trump invited but chris christie not. jeb bush said you know what? don't put me on that straw poll. i'm not interested in going up against all these fellows because it's a little bit too worldly. if the republican party wants to learn the lesson of the last election listening to ronald reagan and expanding the tent my be a good idea. >> in our next hour we'll speak with eric cantor the house majority leader. he has a lot of strong views on the whole charm offensive the president has. thanks very much.
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congratulations tonight candy. we're all going to a wonderful dinner here in washington. you will be receiving the first amendment award from the radio, tv, digital correspondents association as we like to call it. congratulations. >> thank you. >> news directors association. >> right. thanks. >> did i say it right? >> you got it. just use the letters. it's washington. do the acronym. >> rtdns. >> there you go. >> a lovely dinner. black tie optional. >> you don't have to wear a black tie. just come. >> i will. >> you're in. >> thanks. congratulations. well deserved. >> thanks. >> congratulations. reports that a new cabinet nominee announcement is just around the corner. coming up why some conservatives are already lining up in arms about the civil rights lawyer they say is partisan and why they call the justice department, and i'm quoting now, a rat's nest when he worked there. also a terrifying fall from the sky. we're going to hear from the sky diver who lost control and plummeted to the ground. he's okay. what's droid-endurance ?
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another cabinet pick announcement. appearing to be coming very soon. so does another major fight up on capitol hill. the civil rights lawyer thomas perez is widely reported to be president obama's nominee for labor secretary but conservatives already are going after him for allegedly being a polarizing figure while working over the justice department. lisa sylvester is walking into "the situation room" right now with more on his past. what are you finding out? >> he has a full resume of experience, a harvard-educated lawyer, he has headed the state of maryland's labor department, and has worked in a leadership role at the justice department. so it is not surprising at all that his name has come up for labor secretary. but does that make him a shoe-in? not quite. he heads the justice department's civil rights division. he is the man behind the federal investigation into the trayvon martin shooting. his office has called for the prosecution of those who bully gays and lesbians.
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and under his watch, the division has stepped up the investigation of police and sheriffs' department including slirp arpaio of maricopa county, arizona. depending who you ask he is either a fierce defender of civil rights or a partisan operative. if nominated there will likely be pushback from republicans. representative frank wolf chairs the justice appropriations subcommittee. he blames perez for leading a dysfunctional division. >> the voting rights section should not be a partisan operation, it should be nonpartisan, nonpolitical. and it's turned into a really basically a rat's nest and they got to improve it. >> reporter: an inspector general report only adds to the debate. the doj inspector general was looking into a 2008 case. it dates back to this incident outside of a polling place in philadelphia. the justice department under the bush administration brought a case alleging intimidation by members of the new black panther party.
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but after president obama's election, the case was dropped against three out of four of the defendants. critics accused the department's political leadership of being involved. the report out this week found when perez testified before the civil rights commission on why the charges were dropped, he did not give the whole story. not because he was misleading the commissioners but because he didn't have complete information. the inspector general's office didn't find anything wrong with perez's role in the new black panther case but did recognize a deep ideological polarization within the doj's voting rights unit. under both the obama and bush administrations. >> there are two things. one, this predates mr. perez heading the civil rights division and, two, the attorneys that were making the decisions there were the career attorneys. >> reporter: perez's defenders say he has been working hard to clean things up. >> we believe tom perez has restored the integrity back to the entire division, including
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voting rights. >> and a reminder thomas perez has not been nominated. the conservative blogs are already turning on him and president obama is facing some pressure from minority groups to diversify his cabinet and bring in more minorities. but his candidate, whoever it is, will still have to be confirmed by the senate. we'll have to see at this point. i mean, again, his name is just being floated. we'll see if he is actually nominated, then we get to the confirmation battle. >> it could be a bruising confirmation battle. so far the president is winning. we'll see how he does in this one. thanks very much. coming up a well known political insider speaking out at a famous conservative conference now under way in washington. he tells the audience to sit down and shut up. he'll join us live. you'll hear from a sky diver who took a terrifying fall when his chute tangled up.
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honda is recalling 180,000 vehicles in the u.s. for a problem that can cause the cars to brake randomly. an electric system was damaged during manufacturing in some of the models. it involves 2005 honda pilot suvs, 2005 acura rls and 2006 acura mdx suvs. honda dealers will install a new electrical part at no charge. good news. it was another banner day on wall street. the dow set another record today closing at 14,539. it is in case you're keeping track of this the tenth straight day the dow finished up. that is the longest winning streak since 1996. the s&p 500 also had a big day closing two points shy of its all time high. now, here is what's never supposed to happen when you are sky diving. this is greg stapleton who has made thousands of successful jumps free falling helplessly
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under a tangled chute. his reserve only made it worse and his partner could only watch from afar. >> completely lucked out. god watches out for idiots and puppy dogs. he just let me live and walk away. >> that is amazing. stapleton landed in a vineyard with only a dislocated shoulder and he says he is probably going to jump again the weekend after next. he's so calm about it. that's what strikes me, wolf. he is so calm about it as he is talking about it like, well, i lived. i survived. his heart must have been racing at that time. >> he is a lucky guy. >> he is. i don't even understand the mechanics of it. how do you land? you don't have a parachute. you land. you live. you tell cnn about it. >> this is why i don't sky dive. i don't know about you. >> i'm not a sky diver either. cross that off my list. not going to do that. a liberal fire brand jumping into the gop lion's den. what's really going on? what democratic strategist paul
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begala is doing at the most well known conservative conference in the country. there is some video of him today over at cpac. stand by. acceler-rental. at a hertz expressrent kiosk, you can rent a car without a reservation... and without a line. now that's a fast car. it's just another way you'll be traveling at the speed of hertz. oh, hi thehey!ill. are you in town for another meeting? yup, i brought my a-team. business trips add up to family time. this is my family. this is joe. hi joe! hi there! earn a ton of extra points with the double your hhonors promotion and feel the hamptonality. you want to make sure it goes up and stays up. [ chirp ] with android apps, you get better quality control. so our test flights are less stressful. i've got a lot of paperwork, and time is everything here. that's why i upgraded to sprint direct connect. [ chirp ] and instant push-to-talk nationwide. [ male announcer ] upgrade to the new "done." [ chirp ] with instant push-to-talk, three times the coverage, and android productivity apps. now when you buy one motorola admiral rugged smartphone,
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one of the biggest most influential meetings of conservative minds a place where ronald reagan and george w. bush spoke multiple times. the conservative political action conference also known as cpac going on right now outside washington, d.c. in maryland.
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when you take a closer look at the list of the speakers one person stands out from the rest. we're not talking about sarah palin or marco rubio, rand paul, but the long-time, yes, the long-time democratic strategist and cnn contributor paul bog eg was there today. >> dick cheney who said ronald reagan taught us deficits don't matter. as he is about everything he was wrong then and he is now. of course deficits matter. any one of you who supported the bush tax cuts, bush war in iraq or bush entitlement plan has no business talking about debt. sit down, shut up. let the grown-ups handle it you're welcome. paul is here for his strategy session as is one of the emcees tomorrow night. what was it like? all of a sudden chris christie not invited.
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paul begala invited. help me. >> they have a right to invite who they choose. i was honored to attend. yeah there was booing. i said i was trying to antagonize them. we were having fun. i was making a serious point about debt. but they were really gracious and polite. the booing was in good fun but they let me make my case. i was happy and proud to do it. i hope they had as good a time as i did. >> were you there? >> i didn't hear him but i was watching intently on television explaining how he was more conservative on guns than a lot of the conservatives there. >> i pointed out i have the right wing position on gun safety which is i'm for a waiting period before buying a gun like ronald reagan, for banning assault weapons like george w. bush. i am for a universal background check like wayne laperriere. he changed a few months ago but that has been the conservative position on gun safety. now it is the obama position. now somehow that's too liberal. >> how did they receive that? >> well, i think they'll give it prayerful consideration.
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surely i won them all over to my side and they'll now be the liberal. they're l pac now. >> talking about coming to your house late tonight. >> i bet they will. >> is there a lot of buzz why they didn't invite arguably one of the most popular republican governors out there especially in a pretty democratic state like new jersey, chris christie? >> there is some buzz. and i think it was when crist wrote in the inaugural -- when christie rode in the inaugural parade as the guy who got the most credit for re-electing barack obama. it wasn't just christie being governor. he embraced, you understand the responsibilities he has as governor of that state. but he also has a responsibility as a leader of the republican party. he went way overboard. and besides that, you know, chris christie is no shortage of fans. he is his own biggest fan. >> chris christie might not have been there but there are a lot of merging republican stars, a lot of good conservatives. we got a little montage. >> republican elected officials
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who vote for tax increases are rat heads. they damage the brand for everybody else. >> i say not one penny more to countries that are burning our flag. >> we don't need a new idea. there is an idea. the idea is called america. and it still works. >> what did you think? those are three impressive guys, right? two impressive guys with all respect to grover. he's never gotten a vote for anything. >> give him credit. he has been around for a long time. >> very powerful lobbyist but when he says republicans who raise taxs are like rats in a coke bottle, ronald reagan raised taxes i guess 11 times in the years he was president. so i don't think grover even would call ronald reagan a rat. those other two, we are watching. the 2016 premise, what struck me, i showed up, sadly i missed senator paul, but everybody was
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carrying signs. they said stand with rand. professionally made signs. that tells me as a long-time operative that rand paul and his supporters were treating this like the first primary of 2016. they want him to win the straw poll they take at cpac. >> that will be saturday night. his father used to win that pretty regularly. >> rand paul represents a big hunk of the future of the republican party. the leave me alone coalition. if you are a real conservative, you don't want big government telling you what to do. not just on economics. that's when you lock the door of your house at night and go to sleep. that is an important thing for the conservative movement and the republican party to include under our big umbrella and i think you're seeing the beginnings of that here. now, i wish somebody like marco rubio had not expressed himself quite that way, saying we don't need new ideas. freedom is always a new idea. it's always revolutionary. it certainly is new to washington, which has done things the same old dumb top down way for a hundred years and has dug us into about 16 trillion of debt. >> i'm curious about the sound
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bite we played from senator paul. was against foreign aid. i think he is talking about egypt. >> he said on the show the other day $250 million additional aid john kerry brought to egypt. >> right. >> the muslim brotherhood led government. >> right. >> in addition to the nearly $2 billion the u.s. provides in military aid to egypt every year. >> right. >> that is what he was railing about. >> right. i think it is a huge trap for the republicans because america has got -- secretary kerry is exactly right. america has to engage, we have to build influence with that government. the worst thing that would be to pull back and it used to be, you know, the john mccain republicans, both president bush, they wanted to engage in the world and now we're seeing the rise of a neo isolationist republican movement in senator paul. >> there are a lot of republicans who look at what we are doing on national defense and foreign policy and they see growing big government, government out of control, a defense department for example that can't explain where any of the money is and hasn't been audited in 20 years. so yes we ought to cut back some
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but he doesn't represent the center of the republican party. >> hold on. we have more to discuss. don't go too far. just ahead the battle over the forced budget cuts hits another level. supreme court justices in a rare move. they are now speaking out. later i'll speak live with senator dianne feinstein about why she told a senate colleague and i'm quoting her now, senator, i'm not a sixth grader. ha ha ha! no no no! not today! ha ha ha! ha ha ha! jimmy how happy are folks who save hundreds of dollars switching to geico? happier than dikembe mutumbo blocking a shot. get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more.
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a stern warning on capitol hill today from none other than the united states supreme court. two justices testifying saying the forced budget cuts in their words simply unsustainable. listen to justice anthony kennedy. >> the courts do not have the
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habit of creating crises in order to obtain public attention. at some point if we start dismissing criminal prosecutions this is dangerous to the rule of law. number one, in my view you're putting public safety at risk. number two, you are undercutting the ability of a separate branch of the government to perform its functions. >> we're back with alex and paul. paul, you're a lawyer. this is pretty serious. how unusual is it that justices of the supreme court are telling congress these forced budget cuts, spending cuts are bad? >> very. it's extraordinary. this sequester is extraordinary though. it is stupid. i mean, that is the word our president used. it is exactly right. it's stupid for our national defense, stupid for our education and investments and stupid for the courts. the justices are right. you're right. they very rarely speak about these things. once in a while they'll want, you know, frankly bigger
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budgets, pay raises, things like that and they'll testify about the backlog but to say criminal prosecutions will be dismissed because congress can't get its act together frankly the republicans and pass a proper budget is nuts. >> oh, my. it is unusual for a supreme court justice to say this is, all these dire warnings. but it is not unusual for a member of the u.s. government to say oh, my gosh we can't do it with a pen liss. not even judge judy would do this. he was actually talking in the extended remarks oh, my god who is going to maintain the columns? what if our columns start crumbling? it is not even a cut but a reduction in the rate of growth. this is, the people who want and use the money aren't the ones we should trust to decide how much they should get. >> we have to leave it unfortunately on that note. thanks very much, guys. alex paul, you were the lions today and you didn't -- >> call me daniel. >> great for cpac. we need more of that in
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washington. >> thanks to both of you. good luck emceeing tomorrow night. coming up here in "the situation room" the senator behind the push to ban the military assault style weapons. my exclusive interview with senator dianne feinstein, coming up. and the obamas opening up about their marriage, fashion, more in a new issue of "vogue" magazine. alina cho has the scoop. ♪ friskies seafood sensations. ♪ feed the senses. it's lots of things. all waking up. connecting to the global phenomenon we call the internet of everything. ♪ it's going to be amazing. and exciting. and maybe, most remarkably, not that far away. we're going to wake the world up. and watch, with eyes wide,
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for me, travel isn't about taking a vacation, sitting on a beach or listening to some cheesy tour guide as we travel in packs from an all inclusive day spa. traveling is going to parts unknown, sharing a pipe with the shaman as the sun comes up over a few thousand-year-old ruin and only then realizing you forgot to pack your tooth brush. another fashion first for the first lady michelle obama making the cover of "vogue" magazine not once but twice. cnn's alina cho was the first reporter to sit down with the reporter behind the story. tell our viewers what happened. >> you know what?
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the first lady may be on the cover of "vogue" but the editor actually had 40 minutes with the couple meaning the president, too, over the years vogue has profiled first lady after first lady but this is the first time the fashion magazine has ever put an american first lady on its cover twice. second term, second cover. first lady michelle obama in vogue again. >> there is something so ground breakingly modern about the obamas. you know, they are the first black president and first lady. >> reporter: vogue' powerful editor-in-chief is a massive obama fundraiser once rumored to be the next u.s. ambassador to the uk. so it's her friend the first lady appearing on "vogue's" april cover wearing a sleeveless dress by the same designer mrs. obama chose for the inauguration. here she is in michael kohrs but
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writen jonathan van meter spoke to both of them the first lady and the president. >> them as a couple. their marriage, their children, how they live in the white house, how they deal with the bubble. >> reporter: what struck him? >> they're just so sweet with each other. there is a lot of affection and if there is anything married couple to whom the phrase "they finish each other's sentences" applies it's them. >> reporter: of their marriage the president says i think it would be a mistake to think that my wife when i walk in the door is, hey, honey, how was your day? let me give you a neck rub. i think it's much more. we're a team. of his clothes, she jokes, this is the man who still boasts about this khaki pair of pants i've had since i was 20. and i'm like, you don't want to brag about that. >> she very effortlessly tells a story that leads to a punch line that could crack you up. and what i loved is that sometimes she and i weren't finished laughing and the
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president was done and ready to move on. she would look at me and keep laughing with me. i just love that spirit in her, that jovial spirit that really surprised me. >> really beautiful pictures. you know the president and first lady also pushed back on this whole notion that they're antisocial saying that 90% of their conversations are about their kids and when they do get a free moment they just want to spend it with them. the president actually said that sasha and malia want to spend less time with them these days and he joked, who knows? maybe you'll see us out in the clubs. doubt that's going to happen. >> a little charm offensive going on. >> i'll guess, wolf, that you don't own 20-year-old khaki pants in your closet. >> i probably do. i must say. maybe even older. i don't know if i still wear them but i probably still have them. thanks. thanks very much. when we come back, the gun control debate gets ugly and personal. my exclusive interview with the senator right in the middle of the battle senator dianne feinstein. she is my guest and is next.
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>> i'm not a sixth grader. senator, i've been on this committee 20 years. i was a mayor for nine years. i walked in and saw people shocked. i'm reasonably well educated and i thank you for the lecture. all stations come over to mission a for a final go. this is for real this time. step seven point two one two. verify and lock. command is locked. five seconds. three, two, one.
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feinstein. >> it seems to me all of us should begin as our foundational document with the constitution. and the second amendment in the bill of rights provides that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. >> i'm not a 6th grader. senator, i've been on this committee for 20 years. i was a mayor for nine years. i walked in, i saw people shot. i've looked at bodies that have been shot with these weapons. i've seen the bullets that implode. in sandy hook, youngsters were dismembered. look, there are other weapons. i've been up -- i'm not a lawyer, but after 20 years i've been up close and personal to the constitution. i have great respect for it. this doesn't mean that weapons of war, and the heller decision clearly points out three exceptions, two of which are pertinent here. it's fine you want to lecture me on the constitution, i appreciate it.
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just know i've been here for a long time. i've passed on a number of bills. i've studied the constitution myself. i am reasonably well educated. and i thank you for the lecture. incidentally, this does not prohibit, you use the word prohibit, it exempts 2,271 weapons. isn't that enough for the people in the united states? >> mr. chairman -- >> do they need a ba zooka? >> senator feinstein is joining us from capitol hill. clearly you were insulted by what senator cruz said. walk us through your thinking. >> well, i just felt patronized. i felt he was somewhat arrogant about it. when you come from where i've come from and what you've seen, when you found a dead body and put your finger in bullet holes, you really realize the impact of weapons. and then as you go up the technical ladder with these weapons, and they become more
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sophisticated, and more the product of a battlefield, and you've got these huge clips, or drums of 100 bullets out there that people can buy, when you see these weapons becoming attractive to grievance killers, people who take them into schools, into theaters, into malls, you wonder, does america really need these weapons? my answer to that is no. and so it's based on my experience. and i think -- well, the bottom line is, we passed the bill out of committee by a foet of 10-8. the president has issued a very strong statement in support of it. >> do you think he's doing enough, though? do you think he's doing enough behind the scenes to help you get this passed through the senate? >> well, i think it's now going to begin. i think it's now out of committee. every democrat voted for it. hopefully we will have the debate before too long on the senate floor. and we will see.
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it's going to be my intention to divide the question, so that hopefully i want to sit down with the leader. there will be two votes, one on the entire bill, and one on the part that prohibits clips and ammunition feeding devices of more than ten bullets. >> did you have a chance to speak to senator cruz after that public exchange? >> no, i needed to cool down. >> have you cooled down yet? >> i'm cooled down. >> when you see him the next time, what will you say? >> well, i did say, look, i'm sorry. but, you know, this is one thing that i feel very passionately about. and i appreciate the lecture, but -- that's all i'm going to say. >> senator, you know you have a good chance of expanding background checks, probably less of a chance ultimately of getting the magazine clips reduced. probably no chance given what's going on in the house of representatives, maybe even in the senate, of passing that military style assault weapons
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ban. are you willing to take what you can get, namely, background check expansion? >> you know, every single member of the media has come out at me exactly the same way. you know, if this were something that had maybe 10% support out there, 15%, 20%, i would say you've got something. but every single public opinion poll has shown that a majority of americans polled, every one of them, over 50%, and some of them close to 60%, want this bill passed. so i have a hard time understanding, when you have police chiefs, when you have virtually every religious organization, you have the health care profession, we have teachers, we have moms, we have police, it's hard for me to understand how one special interest group, some assault weapon owners, and the gun
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organizations, and the gun manufacturers really rule the day. that's very hard for me to understand. again, i'd understand it if the people didn't want it. but the people do want it. so i hope the people make the connection now with their representatives. in the west, in the midwest, in the south, and in the east. and say, yes, we agree with the polls. we want this bill. >> very quick question. we don't have a lot of time. you're the chair of the intelligence committee. there's a suspect now arrested, i take it, in libya in connection with the benghazi killings of the u.s. ambassador and three others. what can you tell us about this? >> i regret very much i can't tell you anything right now. this matter's classified. so i just can't comment on it. i'm sorry. i would like to. >> all right. maybe it will be declassified sooner rather than later. then we will discuss it. senator feinstein, always good to have you here in "the situation room." thank you for coming in. >> thank you, wolf.
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happening now, president obama speaks out about iran's nuclear threat and a possible timeline. >> the tsa chief tells congress they're worried about explosives, not small lives. talking about president obama's charm offensive. a new headache for carnival. toilet trouble on another cruise. plus a hidden highway death trap facing every driver when trap facing every driver when truck safety guards fail. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com we start this evening with a tense confrontation between the u.s. and iran in the skies over the middle east. >> it certainly comes as president obama is speaking to the israeli news media about the possible timeline for an iranian nuclear weapon. our pentagon correspondent,
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barbara starr, is following all of this for us. barbara, tell our viewers what's going on. because the president was pretty specific, at least in one sensitive part of a timeline. >> that's right, wolf. the pentagon, the u.s. government has now warned iran, it will keep going on with its spying missions over the persian gulf and has warned iran once again not to interfere. the unmanned predator spy plane was flying over the persian gulf earlier this week when the iranian military spotted it. iran scrambled an f-4 fighter jet, it pursued the drone to within 16 miles. after a verbal warning from one of the two manned u.s. fighter jets escorting the drone, the iranian aircraft peeled off, the pentagon says. no shots were fired in the incident that occurred in what u.s. officials say was international air space. but it could have gotten much more serious. drones are now routinely escorted by armed fighters.
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a senior pentagon official tells cnn, we are fully prepared to defend our aircraft. it comes as the top u.s. military commander for the region is even more blunt. >> i've requested and received additional forces in the gulf by the secretary of defense to ensure that we are ready to reassure our friends that we mean business, and temper the iranians 'a design. >> reporter: the incident publicizes something the white house would rather not talk about. iranian efforts to stop pentagon and cia spying. in december 2011, iran displayed to the world a cia drone captured after crashing inside iran. president obama, due to visit israel, said all options are on the table if iran decides to proceed with a decision to build a nuclear bomb. >> we think that it would take over a year or so for iran to actually develop a nuclear
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weapon. but obviously we don't want to cut it too close. >> now, regarding the spy missions, these drone spy missions over the persian gulf, you remember a couple of months ago, the iranians actually fired on a u.s. drone, on one of these patrols over the persian gulf. that's when the u.s. started escorting them with fighter jets. so it's ratcheting up the tensions in the region, wolf. the u.s. wants to make sure this does not get out of hand with iran. wolf? >> the president heading to israel next week for talks with the israeli government on iran, among other subjects. barbara, thanks very much. the controversy over knives on planes playing out today in congress. the head of the tsa had to defend his decision to allow some small knives on board, and he used this very dramatic video to make his point. take a look. tsa administrator john pistle told lawmakers explosives will
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bring down a plane, not knives. joe johns is here with more. he sure doesn't seem to be backing down. >> well, you know, it's a pretty simple question for the flying public. what scares you most, bombs or small knives. when the head of the transportation security administration took a stand on that question, for his agency he had to go to capitol hill to defend his position. the head of the transportation security administration, john pistle, was sticking to his message on capitol hill. he's taken harsh criticism on his decision march 5th allowing small knives on planes, while the limit on liquids you can carry on a plane remains in effect. pistle was on the hill restating his position. >> that a small pocketknife is simply not going to result in the catastrophic failure of an aircraft. an improvised ex employsive device will. it will distract our security officers from focusing on the
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ied. >> pistole is trying to ramp it up. >> i'm trying to figure out how this could not be perceived to something potentially dangerous to the people on the plane. >> you need to stop this now. these cause bleeding. these cause injury. these can cause a terrible tragedy. and i don't want to take it to the next length. it can possibly cause someone to lose their life. >> the fact is, there are so many objects already on flights that can cause the type of harm you're talking about. >> three airlines and the flight attendants association don't think it's a good idea either. >> we have to help deescalate conflicts on board. sometimes we even have to ask passengers to help us contain the conflicts. if you introduce a weapon into the scenario, it is not helpful at all. >> there's also legislation,
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congressman ed markey of massachusetts, has a bill to keep knives off of planes. but people we spoke to in the law enforcement community said today, tsa's got it right. you don't allow your agency to spend all its time looking for knives when the bad guys are trying to bring bombs on planes. but given what happened on 9/11, it may take a while to convince the public. >> despite the fact that john pistole is making a case, explosives take down planes, not knives. the criticism is not backing down. >> they say they haven't really had a problem with the small knives on the planes. there just hasn't been a big incident. on the other hand, one bomb, one explosive, terrible situation on your hands. >> a lot of people remember they did have a problem with the box cutters. >> absolutely. >> on 9/11. so that brings back a lot of bad memories. >> thank you very much. word of arrest in the deadly attack in benghazi, libya. sources telling cnn, this man, there he is, is being held in
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libya, detained after returning the last couple of days from a trip to pakistan. four americans were killed, including the u.s. ambassador to libya, chris stevens, in a fiery terror attack on the kun sul lat in benghazi on last september 11th. the pope started by praying at the basilica in rome that has special ties to his ordinary ir of jesuits. he's opting for a plain black sedan instead. he refused the limousine last night, took the bus with the cardinals back to their residence. he celebrated his first papal mass with him in the sistine chapel today. we were told last night he stood with the cardinals rather than sit on the papal throne. still ahead in "the situation room," prominent republican name missing from the straw poll at this high profile conference. now we know why jeb bush wasn't on the ballot. the man who barely survived this horrible accident speaks out about the hidden death trap
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we all face on the highway. none of us would want to be told we can't marry the person we love. as americans, we believe in freedom. that's what i fought for as a marine, and that's what we believe in as republicans. freedom means freedom for everyone. i didn't use to understand the importance of same-sex marriage, but after learning my brother was gay i wanted the same rights for him. he was the best man at my wedding and i want to be the best man at his. it's only fair that calvin should have the freedom to marry the person he loves, too. it's time for marriage.
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a carnival cruise ship carrying thousands of passengers sits docked with a generator failure and toilets overflowing. this, a month after one of its ships was slowly tugged home. all of this leading a lot of people to ask, part of a learned lesson. ecommended probiotic that helps maintain digestive balance. ♪ stay in the groove with align.
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pretty blunt assessment from
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the gop from one of its own rock stars, senator rand paul. he told conservative activists in washington that the party has grown, in his words, stale and moss-covered. >> not the way you want your party described. it's just some of the republican soul searching going on at the political action conference. brianna has been there all day in maryland. what else do they have to say, brianna? >> reporter: wolf and kate, there was a lot of red meat to be had, particularly from senator marco rubio, who talked about abortion, defining marriage traditionally, as well as gun rights. but the theme of this year's conference is the next generation of conservatives, and republicans try to rebrand themselves after their november loss. the always colorful annual gathering of conservatives, the republican party is trying to transform itself, and attract more voters. young conservatives who cast their first votes for president
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in a disappointing election have some ideas. >> our generation, the younger generation is less concerned with the social i, we're more liberal than the generation before us and the generation before that. that message needs to start coming across. or it will be a repeat of the last election. >> reporter: two new gop leaders, florida senator marco rubio, and kentucky senator rand paul, drew standing room only audiences. paul on the heels of his almost 13-hour filibuster of the president's pick for cia director. >> i was told i got ten measly minutes. but just in case, i brought 13 hours worth of information. >> reporter: he had young cpacgoers on their feet. it is unclear still how the party meets the challenge of attacking the center while holding on to its bait. during a panel discussion on immigration reform, one well
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respected pollster talked about attracting hispanics who voted overwhelmingly for president obama. >> don't you think that a group of incredibly hard working family oriented entrepreneurial spirited people might be a good place to look for some more allies? >> reporter: and some of the most popular republicans in the country weren't even invited to cpac, like new jersey governor chris christie, who brushed off the snub. >> my job is to work for the people who elected me. and not to work for my political party first. >> cpac officials say that christie's brand of conservatism was not aligned with their principles. wolf, a lot of this conference is about looking forward. there's definitely some looking back. mitt romney will be speaking tomorrow. there's a panel discussion called csi washington, d.c., 2013 autopsy, and when sarah
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palin speeds on speaks on saturday she's guaranteed to bring a big crowd. >> donald trump will speak as well. a little bit more with the chief washington correspondent jake tapper, new show debuts this coming monday. jeb bush, he's speaking at cpac, but he's not on that straw ballot, if you will. all these other up-and-coming republicans are popular. what's happening here? >> he actually, according to his spokesperson, with whom i spoke to earlier, asked that his name not be put on the ballot. he was invited by al cardenas, now head of the american conservative union. i was told it was by request. to mr. cardenas when he extended the invite to governor bush. he said repeatedly, it is too early to think about 2016. but we should also include the context here which is that there are a lot of ron paul supporters who attend this.
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ron paul has repeatedly won this evented in the past, and of course, rand paul seen as a new generation. so possibly there was some self-interest in there as well. >> he'll do well, rand paul, in the straw poll. >> absolutely. let's talk about rand paul. he's been getting a lot of attention over the past week or so. and of course, more so amongst the conservative base. he had pretty strong words today at cpac. let's listen to a little bit more of it. >> the gop of old has grown stale and moss-covered. [ cheers and applause ] i don't think we need to name any names, do we? >> then there were cheers after he said that. so it's clearly a swat at someone, or some more than one. who do you think it was? >> well, i spoke to mr. paul and he said it was just meant about the establishment. but i think a lot of people are
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interpreting that as a swipe as one of the senior senators in the senate, senator john mccain, who has never been incredibly popular among the cpac gang, and rand paul and john mccain have had words over the drones program in the last week. but i think generally speaking, paul was not referring to anyone certainly not literally. as far as i know. >> it would be awkward. >> as far as i know, none of them are literally covered in moss. >> where does chris christie -- >> not covered in moss. >> where does he fit in the whole political environment. >> the fight between the old guard and new guard. >> he was not invited. i think that he occupies a very unusual place in the party right now, in that he is a blue state republican governor. >> very popular. >> very popular in his state, which is a state that went for barack obama overwhelmingly twice. and john kerry before that, et cetera. and i think that, you know, he's
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got to walk a very delicate line right now. and that is not endearing him to the republican base. whether it has to do with fighting for relief for his state, after the storm, or whether or not it had to do with praising president obama during that period right before the election. so he's trying to appeal to his voters. and that alien eights some of the more conservative voters. >> all set for monday? >> i hope so. >> doing some push-ups? doing some jogging? >> chin-ups. >> chin-ups are much better preparation. >> as you know anchoring, you need to do chin-ups. >> get ready. i know you've been practicing a little bit. >> as of monday, i am going to be throwing to you. and i would like your permission on the air for me to call you the wolf man. when i throw to you. >> oh, you are pushing it. you're pushing it, tapper. you at least need to get your feet wet first. >> okay. i'm sorry. i've clearly overstepped my bounds here.
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>> just kidding. >> i'm sorry. >> i've been called a lot worse. jake tapper, the lead. >> the lead. >> with jake tapper starts monday 4:00 p.m. eastern right before the 6:00 show. we move to 5:00 p.m. >> that's right. people can warm up. i'm like a lovely appetizer, you are the entre. >> and you're the dessert. >> thank you. >> and we're done. michigan's governor making a dramatic move right now. what's he doing? >> he is. we're going to hear from the man he picked to dig detroit out of deep financial trouble. much more ahead. ♪ [ acoustic guitar: upbeat ] [ dog ] we found it together. on a walk, walk, walk. love to walk. yeah, we found that wonderful thing. and you smiled. and threw it.
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anger is boiling over in the streets of brooklyn.
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kate's here, she's got that and some of the other day's top stories. >> what was supposed to be a peaceful vigil quickly turned into a chaotic and confrontational scene. new york police shot and killed a 16-year-old they say was armed and turned on them. but some of the community argues it was a racially motivated police brutality. last night 46 people were arrested. and community leaders are accusing outsiders of coming in and inciting violence. another name was added to the fbi's ten most wanted list today. gracias is wanted for a murder in the denver area back in august 2011. the victim was beaten and stand. the fbi says rivera gracias is believed to be hiding in el salvador and may try to travel to the u.s. he's said to be a member of the notorious ms-13 gang. back here in the u.s., michigan's republican governor made a dramatic move today to fix detroit's financial mess.
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the city is billions of dollars in debt and facing a massive cash shortfall. he picked washington bankruptcy attorney kevin orr to serve as emergency financial manager for the city. wolf spoke with the two men earlier in the "situation room." listen. >> the maintenance of the status quo is not an option. we look at what we need to go forward and create an environment for a sustainable financial future, one of the greatest cities in the history of the country. >> orr has 18 months to turn the city's finances around. we'll be watching that very closely. it took just hours for a kick starter campaign to raise $2 million. the goal? funding a movie based on the popular but short-lived tv show "veronica mars." it was a cult classic about a teenage detective. one of wolf's favorite shows. fans are clamoring to a return to the airwaves or a movie version.
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the series is owned by the parent company of cnn. get excited, because the movie might be coming. you know about veronica mars, right? >> no. >> but it was very popular. >> huge. >> huge. president obama reaching out to lawmakers. is his so-called charm offensive working as far as the republican leadership is concerned? specifically, eric cantor, the majority leader of the house, he's here. he's next. it's lots of things. all waking up. connecting to the global phenomenon we call the internet of everything. ♪ it's going to be amazing. and exciting. and maybe, most remarkably, not that far away. we're going to wake the world up. and watch, with eyes wide, as it gets to work. cisco. tomorrow starts here. >> announcer: did you know there are secret black market websites around the world that sell stolen identities?
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liberty mutual insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy? president obama back on capitol hill for a third day in a row, having lunch today with senate republicans. their leader mitch mcconnell and the president both called a 90-minute meeting great. >> great meeting. then the president was off to meet with house democrats, wrapping up what's dubbed his charm offensive. it also included a closed-door session with house republicans. >> joining us now from thrill, eric cantor is the majority leader of the house of representatives. mr. leader, thanks very much for coming in. >> appreciate it, wolf. >> i want you to listen carefully to what the president said last night at one of his supporters' meetings here in washington. listen to this. >> over the last several weeks, the press here in washington has been reporting about obama's
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charm offensive. well, the truth of the matter is all i've been doing is calling up folks and trying to see if we can break through some of the gobbledygook of our politics here. and i do believe that, you know, that at this juncture, one of the things i believe is that we've got to get members of congress involved in these discussions, not just leadership. >> all right. well, you're the leadership, mr. leader. what do you say to the president? he seems to want to go around you, given the history of what happened a couple of years ago. >> well, wolf, the president came to capitol hill yesterday to meet with the members of our republican conference, and, you know, i hope that he is sincere in wanting to work together. because the fact is, there are a
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lot of things that we do agree on. we know we've got to balance the budget. we know that there are things in common within his proposals and ours, in fact, when the house moved to put a proposal across the floor, one of which i sponsored, it included things that were in the president's budget. so i'm hopeful that we can work together, and not let things get in the way, like how the president's desire to put more taxes on the american people. we don't agree on that. but we can agree on some things that can move towards balance in the budget, so we can grow our economy. >> do you believe he is sincere? >> well, i certainly hope so. you know, it would be a good thing, i think, for the country. and the problem is, you have some fundamental disagreements here. the president was quoted on a tv program that he was on saying that there wasn't a debt crisis. he was quoted as saying we don't have a spending problem. obviously, i think most
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americans would disagree with that. and, you know, that's why we don't believe, you go and put more taxes on the american people to solve this problem. you want to bring the budget into balance. you want to grow the economy. and that means you have to deal with the reforms and the spending reductions necessary to achieve that balance. >> mr. leader, talk to me about that meeting yesterday. we thahear that the president ga standing ovation when he came into capitol hill. what did you say to him and where was there encouragement in your mind that there could be a deal here? where is there an area that you see agreement with president obama? >> i mean, first of all, i mean, the tone and the reception i think was appropriate. he's the president of the united states. we welcome him to capitol hill. i think that where the agreement could be is that we all want to do right by the people that elect us. and there's a lot of disaffected americans out there, working
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families who just want to see their life work again. and i believe all of us want to see folks who are in failing schools, to have parents have the ability to give their children an opportunity to a quality education. >> let me get your reaction to that major article in the "new yorker" magazine the other day, written by the "new yorker"s who is a contributor. you're quoted as acknowledging that back in the summer of 2011, you said it's a, quote, fair assessment that you talked to the speaker john boehner out of accepting obama's deal. is that right? >> don't quite know if that was the exact context of the answer to that question. what i can say is, john boehner and i have never differed on the fact that you've got to do something about reducing spending in this town. in order to achieve the balance that we want to grow the economy. we've always said you've got to do that. it's not about raising taxes. the two of us have always been together on that.
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we continue to deliver that message to the white house and to the president. we want to work with the president to achieve that balance. it's not about putting more taxes on the american people. its bee getting control of the spending in this town. >> you weren't in agreement at the end of december when you voted against that legislation to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, because it included a lot more tax revenue coming from rich people. he voted in favor of it. so it was a split -- there was a split between the two of you then. >> that is correct. john boehner and i, the speaker, we are in constant communications. know where each other are. and certainly on that vote, there was a difference. but we're a team, and we're working to try and achieve the best outcome for the people that put us here and elected us, to try to balance the budget, to try to produce a growing economy. >> let me ask you about the here and now. paul ryan just released his budget. do you support it? >> i do support paul ryan's budget.
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it is a comprehensive plan to address the growing unfunded liabilities of the entitlement programs at the federal level. so that we can save the safety net for those who need it. and that we can bring the budget into balance and grow the economy. that's the essence of what the plan is about. >> mr. leader, in order to achieve that balance, to balance the budget, it also assumes that $600 billion in tax increases that you opposed in january. >> well, i mean, unfortunately, we have, in fact, after the last election, a situation where the status quo of the president there, the democratic controlled senate and the republican house, that those tax increases were something that the president supported. but i can tell you, if you look at the alternative vision coming out of the senate, there really is a two separate visions of the way this country ought to go.
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on the one hand, we have the house budget that is -- promotes a balance within ten years, that can grow our economy. and that you can get people back to work with more jobs. on the senate side, what you have is a budget calling for $1 trillion of additional tax increases, and you have more borrowing, more spending, and never a balance. so the real question for the american people is, which side would they come down on? i believe the people feel a balanced budget is something that makes sense and is an imperative at home for them. it should be here in washington as well. because the tax dollars that are in washington are nothing but the dollars earned by the hard working taxpayers across the country. >> it should be imperative as well. i want to make sure on one point. you are comfortable and will support the $600 billion in tax cuts? >> as wolf pointed out, i didn't support those tax increases. they are put into law at this point because of the president's reelection.
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what we want to do is achieve real tax reform to bring rates down for everybody. and, you know, we want to get rid of those special interest loopholes in the tax code, make it a fairer system, lower rates for everybody. but again, what you see in the senate plan is never a balance, in terms of the budget, and you see a call for additional $1 trillion in tax increases for the american people. that's not what we need right now. we've got to get ahold of the problem here in washington, and grow this economy. >> the ryan budget does call for a reduction in the growth in defense spending by about, what, $2.3 trillion over the next ten years. you come from virginia. that's a major military state, as you well know. are you with ryan on that? >> i support the ryan budget. i've always said, wolf, as far as the pentagon is concerned, you can't defend every dollar and cent that the pentagon spends. we've got to be able to do more
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with less. and i am a huge national security individual. i believe that if we don't lead in america, there's going to be no leadership. my state of virginia has a long heritage of playing a role in the projection of military power of this country and across the world. i'll continue to support the men and women who are part of that effort, as well as the infrastructure and the industrial base that has been established in our state to make sure that that happens. >> good discussion there. thanks so much for joining us. >> okay. thank you. >> he certainly is one of those rising stars in the republican party. >> yeah. he's already a star. but you know, when we were talking to him, you realize it's really great to hear on both sides the change in tone, that they enjoyed these meetings. as we're talking with eric cantor, you realize they're philosophically so different from the white house. >> clearly differences even among the republicans.
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>> right. exactly. a long way to go. still ahead, from dream cruise to another cruise ship nightmare for carnival passengers. can the cruise line get it right this time. [ male announcer ] the lexus command performance sales event has begun. featuring the exhilarating is. ♪ engineered to take on the most thrilling curves no matter where they are. the lexus is performance line. real performance demands real precision. get great values on your favorite lexus models
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vacation voyage has once again come to an agonizing halt for cruise ship passengers. this time the travel nightmare involves a cruise ship called "the dream." passengers are once again telling of power failures and toilet failures. once again, it's a carnival 14i7. ship. brian, what happened? >> reporter: wolf, it was one month ago today that the carnival ship "the triumph" was
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towed into port from a fire. we're again hearing accounts of power interruptions and overflowing toilets. for the second time in a month, carnival cruise passengers disembark from a vessel that had serious mechanical problems. passengers on the carnival "dream" in st. martin in the caribbean. an emergency diesel generator malfunctioned while it was in port. before being allowed off, passengers were kept onboard for several hours while the crew did maintenance checks. there were periodic power outages, interruptions to elevator and toilet service and accounts from passengers that hearken back to the carnival triumph disaster last month when sewage flowed throughout that vessel. passenger greg stark said this time when the crew was doing maintenance checks -- >> during that time the toilets started overflowing down in the main general lobby areas where
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people were frequenting the bathroom. >> reporter: a carnival spokesman said the toilet problems were minimal. only one public restroom was taken offline for cleaning due to toilet overflow. and there was a total of one request for cleaning of a guest bathroom. toilet service was fully restored by just after midnight thursday morning. but passenger chris anderson said this. >> they were out of service for quite some time, for several hours. ours started working about 8:00 this morning. >> reporter: a carnival official told us they'll look into that. just one day before the dream's generator malfunctioned, a top carnival official said the company was conducting a comprehensive review of the entire fleet. maintenance, prevention of fires, engine issues, travel industry analyst christopher muller says between the deadly cont contra concordia -- >> this is a problem. they're doing something wrong with preventive maintenance. you know, carnival has so many
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working ships, to say that the fleet is in distress is maybe a little bit broad, but clearly something is not working right. >> i asked the carnival official to respond to those comments about management problems. he has not yet responded to that. carnival is chartering planes to fly its passengers to orlando tomorrow morning, near where they departed, and the company is offering discounts on a future cruise of up to 50%, and partial refunds for this trip. wolf? >> with all these incidents, could there be any serious financial fallout for the company? >> reporter: well, the analysts we spoke to, christopher muller, said there could be serious financial fallout. these are very expensive cruises to run. what he said you'll start seeing probably in an effort to get passengers back on these ships is deep discounting of cruises. maybe up to half off on many of them. he said they may find in a few months because of those
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discounts and a lack of -- just a lack of customers, some of these routes, these cruises may not be profitable in the coming months and may even get to the point where some carnival ships have to be moth balled. the combination of all these three incidents really may add up to financial problems for carnival. he said that will impact the broader cruise industry as well. >> brian, thanks very much. still ahead, they're supposed to save lives, but too many times they do not. the disturbing details of a hidden highway death trap threatening anyone who's on the road.
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hidden highway of death causes some of the most gruesome accidents, it's a threat to just about every driver. cnn's renee marsh has details of a study on truck guardrails. this is something that people might not know much about but they really need to know more. >> absolutely. you know, kate, if you're driving, you're on the road and you're side by side with those huge trucks, you may feel a bit of fear.
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according to a study that's out by one group today, that fear may be for good reason. it's a danger on the road that every driver should know about. >> reporter: when it's car versus truck, quite often the truck wins and the consequences deadly. >> first thing that contacts the back of the truck is the windshield. right behind the windshield is the driver's face. >> reporter: according to the insurance for highway safety in 2011, 250 people died after their cars rear ended big rigs, broke through the truck's guardrail and ended up underneath it. last december john wallace fell asleep at the wheel. his truck slammed into the back of a semi parked on the shoulder of a florida highway. >> i hit it at full speed going 60 miles an hour, no braking. the only reason i stopped where i did was i actually ended up hitting the axels underneath the
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trailer. >> reporter: he was londged 71 inches under the truck. this is what we're talking about. if one of these guardrails fails, then a car that's on average about three feet high fits perfectly under this truck. that's 3 1/2 feet from the ground. while all of the guards past the test, when a car struck straight on, all but one failed. when the car hit the edge of the guard. the insurance institute wants the federal government to require manufacturers to make the guardrails stronger with better dimensions. members of the trucking industry say they support change that would increase safety but not all the problems are with the trucks. >> let's try to avoid hitting the trucks to start with. why don't we put more emphasis on slowing people down, on distracted driving. the best design rear guard underride is the one that never gets tested. >> well, we reached out to the
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federal government and they say that they've been doing their own research based on that as well as the crash test that you just saw. they say there could be changes to the current federal safety regulations. so there could be. >> so scary to see those crash tests. you said 250 people died in 2011. that's an amazing number. >> and that man who survived, he is so lucky. he's blessed to have survived. >> wow. renee, thank you. >> thank you. coming up right at the top of the hour, erin burnett, she's joining us now with a little preview. erin, what's coming up? >> all right. wolf, we're joined by jason chafe, there was an arrest there today. we'll talk to hem him, plus, the president's policy on iran with debbie water man shult. and this woman, her name is christmasment i'm not making this up. she is absolutely incredible. yes, she can bench about 250 pounds. she's in a nass war pit crew. her store ji amazing. >> sounds great. looking forward to it, erin. appreciate it very, very much.
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>> i would not mess with her. i also would not mess with this lady. coming up, she's an 88-year-old grandmother who tries as she might just cannot stop dancing. all stations come over to mission a for a final go.
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liberty mutual insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy? ...and we inspected his brakes for free. -free is good. -free is very good. [ male announcer ] now get 50% off brake pads and shoes at meineke. so here is a story that will make you want to get up and dance. >> i'm ready. >>et stretched out. an 88-year-old grandmother has become a huge hit online because when she hears music, the music she likes, she just has to drop her purse and boogie. jeannie moos shows us the dancing nana. >> reporter: most 88-year-olds are lucky to be walking down steps let alone dancing down them to run